Yemen

Situation Report

Highlights

  • Ten million people receive life-saving aid amid funding shortfalls and access challenges
  • Aid community commits to act collectively to address humanitarian needs in Yemen
  • Second dose COVID-19 vaccination campaign launched
  • Boat carrying migrants capsizes off Yemen’s coast
  • YHF allocates US$50 million for life-saving response
Yemen Humanitarian Update No. 6, June 2021
To improve hygiene conditions in displacement sites and prevent the spread of COVID-19, UNICEF distributed COVID-19 prevention packages to displaced families in Aden, Lahj and Abyan governorates in June. Photo credit: NICEF/UN0484810/Abdulbaki

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Yemen

Situation Report

Key Figures

20.7M
People in Need
12.1M
People in Acute Need
4M
Displaced People

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Contacts

Sajjad Sajid

Head of Office

Tapiwa Gomo

Head of Communication

Yemen

Situation Report
Emergency Response

Ten million people receive life-saving aid amid funding shortfalls and access challenges

Yemen continues to be the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with over 20.7 million people in need of some form of humanitarian assistance or protection. Since 2020, the situation, which is primarily driven by conflict and an economic blockade, has been exacerbated by COVID-19, heavy rains and flooding, escalating hostilities, currency collapse, decreased government capacity and access challenges.

Despite a challenging operating environment and limited funding, aid agencies have continued to deliver lifesaving assistance reaching an average of 9.8 million people per month in the first four months of the year. While the number of people reached with assistance decreased across most cluster areas, by the end of April partners were providing support to millions of people with the available resources – an average of 9.3 million people were reached each month with food assistance, over 2.7 million people were reached with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, nearly 540,000 were supported by Health Cluster partners and over 430,000 received nutrition treatment.

By the end of June, the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), which seeks US$3.85 billion to assist 16 million people and avert famine, faced a $2.12 billion funding gap. Without additional funding, aid agencies’ ability to maintain the current level of response until the end of the year hangs in the balance. Many donors have already generously stepped up to support food security and nutrition this year. However, famine prevention, management of communicable diseases, support for displaced families and wider HRP strategic objectives require multisectoral, integrated approaches. Increased overall funding across all sectors continues to be needed and lasting gains on food security needs to be underpinned by improvements in all sectors.

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Yemen

Situation Report
Visual

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Yemen

Situation Report
Coordination
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Aid community commits to act collectively to address humanitarian needs in Yemen

The third Senior Officials Meeting (SOM III) on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, co-hosted by the European Commission and Sweden, took place in virtual format on 1 June 2021 with the participation of the main humanitarian actors active in the country. The participants, which included donors, UN agencies, the World Bank and International and Yemeni Non- Governmental Organizations (NGOs), assessed the deteriorating humanitarian situation, related economic drivers and the progress achieved since the previous SOMs and expressed their commitment to continue acting collectively to address urgent humanitarian needs in Yemen.

The meeting noted that the humanitarian crisis in Yemen continues to deteriorate. Limits on humanitarian access, funding shortages, severe obstructions of fuel imports, and monetary instability compounded by the economic crisis exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic continue pushing the country towards a large-scale famine while intensifying protection issues. The ongoing offensive in Ma’rib continues to displace civilians, exacerbate the humanitarian crisis, and trigger broader instability across the country. The armed conflict results in civilian casualties, forced displacements, damage to vital infrastructure such as health, education, water and electricity facilities, and loss of livelihoods.

On humanitarian access, principled aid delivery, impact and funding, donors reaffirmed their unwavering commitment to continue providing life-saving support to the people of Yemen in line with humanitarian principles as well as donor accountability regulations. Donors also urged the parties to the conflict to engage in genuine collaboration with the humanitarian community, seeking constructive and solution-oriented approaches.

On the economic drivers of the crisis and coordination with development initiatives, participants noted that the humanitarian crisis continues to deteriorate as a direct result of economic drivers, notably the ongoing fuel crisis, currency instability, limited fiscal space and market access, increasing prices of basic commodities and lack of payment of salaries for civil servants.

To prevent a looming famine, it is critical that adequate and sustained levels of fuel imports are allowed into Al Hodeidah port without further delay. The meeting also stressed the urgency for the international community to provide a support package for Yemen, including foreign exchange injections to help stabilize the economy and prevent further food price rises, and the provision of foreign currency reserves to subsidize commercial imports of food and fuel as well as pay salaries.

In the area of food security, participants noted the critical need to enhance nexus coordination between humanitarian and development actors, both in terms of delivery on the ground and programming, and to enhance cross-sectoral integration to address immediate needs. A concerted, multi-sectoral package of recovery and development investments, building Yemen’s resilience to shocks in the medium to long term, is urgently required. More information on SOM III outcomes can be found here: https://ec.europa.eu/echo/ sites/default/files/20210601_som_iii_cochairs_ summary_final.pdf

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Yemen

Situation Report
Emergency Response

Second dose COVID-19 vaccination campaign launched

Some 270,601 people in southern parts of Yemen received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of 27 June, following the launch of the first vaccination campaign on 20 April 2021. Of these, 20,276 are health care workers and 33,472 are people above the age of 60, while the 216,853 others includes people with comorbidities as well as travelers. The second vaccination campaign in the south was launched on 26 June and will continue until 6 July, mainly targeting people who already received their first dose.

Supported by WHO and UNICEF in coordination with the Government of Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health and Population, the campaign covers 133 districts in 13 of Yemen’s 22 governorates, and aims to reach nearly 320,000 health workers, elderly people and people with comorbidities with the first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

In the north of Yemen, vaccination of health care workers commenced on 20 June. Humanitarian partners, mainly WHO and UNICEF working with the Ministry of Public Health and Population, are monitoring the vaccination campaign and ensuring that the process remains smooth.

COVID-19 update

By 26 June, Yemen’s Ministry of Public Health and Population had recorded 6,910 cases of COVID-19, with 1,359 associated deaths and 4,021 recoveries. Twentynine of the new confirmed cases were reported between 20 and 26 June, mostly in Aden, where 15 cases were reported. This represents a 45 per cent increase compared to the previous week, which saw 20 confirmed cases. However, the number of cases reported in the last week of June is 62 per cent fewer than in the second week of June, during which 77 confirmed cases were reported, highlighting the fluctuating trend during the month.

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Yemen

Situation Report
Feature

Boat carrying migrants capsizes off Yemen’s coast

On 11 June, a boat departed Djibouti in the Horn of Africa for Yemen across the Red Sea, carrying migrants believed to mostly be Ethiopian nationals hoping to journey onward to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Travelling overnight, the overcrowded boat reportedly met adverse sea conditions as it approached the Yemeni coast the next day, causing it to capsize.

The number of people on board the boat could not be verified by the UN or its partners, but media reports estimate that between 160 and 300 people were affected. In the days following the incident, bodies began to wash up on the shores of Lahj Governorate, as reported by fishermen, media and humanitarian partners. However, again, the total number of those who lost their lives as a result of this incident is still unknown.

In 2021, around 6,445 migrants are known to have travelled from the Horn of Africa to Yemen, of whom 88 per cent were Ethiopian nationals and 98 per cent intended to reach Saudi Arabia. As a result of movement restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic on irregular migration routes, these arrivals numbers are down from last year, when 37,535 were recorded (93 per cent Ethiopian and 7 per cent Somali nationals). The pandemic continues to impact this route, with only 489 migrant arrivals in May this year compared to 3,284 arrivals in May last year.

IOM estimates that at least 32,000 migrants are stranded across Yemen, unable to reach their destination of Saudi Arabia due to border closures, and without any shelter, water, food or health care. IOM continues to provide emergency support to migrants stranded in Yemen.

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Yemen

Situation Report
Emergency Response
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YHF allocates US$50 million for life-saving response

The Yemen Humanitarian Fund’s (YHF) first Standard Allocation was launched on 8 June and aims to allocate $50 million to support life-saving interventions targeting nearly 3 million people. The allocation prioritizes humanitarian programmes that respond to specific needs of all vulnerable groups across Yemen. Partners receiving the funds will also prioritize responding to humanitarian needs in hard-to-reach, frontline and under-served areas, mainly those with the highest severity of needs. It is estimated that 5.1 million people in these locations face immediate risk of famine or avoidable diseases.

In addition to addressing urgent needs of displaced people and host communities, YHF partners will also consider medium to longer-term interventions to help households build resilience to withstand future shocks. Clusters developed integrated response plans based on the comparative advantage of each partner and ensured synergies in approaches. This allocation is launched mid-way through the year and just after the third Yemen Humanitarian Senior Official Meeting (SOM III) which sat to renew donors’ commitment to supporting the Yemen response. It is expected that the first Standard Allocation will help in mobilizing additional resources, especially for underfunded interventions focusing on the most vulnerable and marginalized groups. YHF partners had until 25 June to submit proposals.

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Yemen

Situation Report
Feature
Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Diego Zorrilla
Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen Diego Zorrilla

USG/ERC Designates Diego Zorrilla as the Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen

On 17 May, the outgoing Under- Secretary-General/Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC), Mark Lowcock, after consultations with Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) partners and Mr. David Gressly, the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) for Yemen, designated Mr. Diego Zorrilla as Deputy Humanitarian Coordinator (DHC) for Yemen.

Mr. Diego Zorrilla, a national of Spain and Switzerland, was the DHC in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and has more than 28 years of continued professional service, both at Headquarters and field level in 14 different countries, including in Central and Latin America, Africa, the Balkans, the Middle East and Asia. From 2017 to 2020, Mr. Zorrilla was the Resident Coordinator (RC) in Tunisia. Prior to that, from 2012 to 2016 he was RC in Ecuador and was also designated as Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) in 2016. From 2007 to 2011, Mr. Zorrilla acted in various roles in the office of United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, including as Chief of Staff and Chief of Political Unit. Between 2001 to 2007, Mr. Zorrilla was with UNICEF and assumed several senior managerial roles in various countries such as Panama, Rwanda, Burundi and Central African Republic. He possesses extensive experience with the UN Department of Peacekeeping, serving from 1993 to 2001 in Rwanda, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Kosovo, Timor Leste and Guatemala, as well as at headquarters in New York.

Mr. Diego Zorrilla took up his new function on 16 June. He will be responsible for supporting Mr. David Gressly, the UN RC/HC for Yemen in leading and coordinating humanitarian action in Yemen.

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